Choosing Shoes

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Want to enjoy a lifetime of exercise? Make sure you wear the shoes that best suit your feet. Shoes are made for all types of feet and actions, and knowing your foot type can aid you in selecting shoes that will help prevent injury.

Determining Your Foot Type
the right type of shoe for you depends on two things: your foot type (size of your arches) and what your foot does when it touches the ground. I recommend the “wet test” to find your foot type. Walk across a flat surface with wet feet so you can see your footprint and see the kind of arches you have.

Normal arch. If you see about half of your arch on the paper, you have a normal (medium) arch. You are considered a normal pronator. (When you run or walk, you land on the outside edge of your foot and roll inward. This entirely normal inward rolling is called pronation.) Normal pronation absorbs shock and optimally distributes the forces of impact when the arch collapses inward.

Low arch. If you see almost your entire footprint, you have a flat foot (low arch), which means you’re probably an overpronator. That is, a microsecond after footstrike, your arch collapses inward too much, resulting in excessive foot motion. This means the foot and ankle have problems stabilizing the body, and shock isn’t absorbed as efficiently.

High arch. If you see just your heel, the ball of your foot and a thin line on the outside of your foot, you have a high arch. This means you’re likely an underpronator (also called a supinator), which can result in too much shock traveling up your legs, since your arch doesn’t collapse enough to absorb it. Forces of impact are concentrated on a smaller area of the foot (the outside part) and are not distributed as efficiently.

Buying Shoes
When trying on shoes, mention which type of foot you have. A knowledgeable salesperson should be able to help you find shoes suited to your type.

Walking shoes are stiffer; running shoes are more flexible, with extra cushioning to handle greater impact. If you do both activities, get a pair for each one. For other fitness activities cross-trainers are fine. If you play a specific sport basketball, football, track, tennis, etc. make sure you buy a shoe that is specific to your sport. Including an insole that favors your foot type is also recommended.

When testing shoes, wear workout socks and get fitted in the evening, when your feet are largest. There should be half an inch between the longest toe and the toe box. Look for stores that allow you to return the shoes within a certain time period if they aren’t working for you.

Barefoot “shoes” have gotten a lot of press. These “slip-ons” are not exactly shoes, nor are they socks; in some cases they are more like thick rubber foot gloves. Their purpose is to mimic barefoot movement while avoiding some of the risks (e.g., sharp objects, extreme heat).

Are they for you? To explore this subject, work with a running expert or certified personal trainer who specializes in running. Other body parts impact the feet, and it is important to understand how the whole body impacts your running biomechanics.

Now time to get suited and booted!

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Lose 10 Pounds In 10 Minutes!

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If that sounds too good to be true, how about: Lose 18 Pounds in Four Days! Is this still too hard to believe? Then, you might want to Lose Five Full Inches of Ugly Belly Fat in Just 30 Days! Better yet, simply swallow a Weight Loss Pill Clinically Proven to Melt Belly Fat!

These and many other claims scream at you from all corners. Magazine covers, infomercials, Google searches, and billboards all pitch quick and easy results if you take this pill or follow that diet or buy this new book. The ads are always filled with fit-looking models chosen to sell a product they have, almost certainly, never used or a diet book they have never read. In fact, can you keep a dirty, little secret? They have all added time in the gym and watched their diet extra closely in the weeks prior to the commercial shoot.

That’s their secret.

The secret to permanent weight loss isn’t a secret if you consistently exercise and follow a diet loaded with fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains and nuts and seeds. So why do you have less than a 50/50 shot, according to studies, of maintaining your exercise program beyond six months? Frustration over a perceived lack of results is the number one reason. The hard truth is many of the benefits of exercise are not as easy to spot as Buns of Steel.

Increased energy: The right combination of exercise and nutrition creates a hormonal environment conducive to fat loss, increased muscle strength and increased energy. When your body is working at peak efficiency, your energy levels soar. As a result, everyday things become easier to do.

Increased Self-Esteem: Choosing to begin and continue a fitness program – even when you don’t feel like it – is an amazing way to increase self-esteem. You look better and are more confident, which empowers you in everything you do. You’ll find the self-discipline required and learned through regular exercise spills over into other areas of your life.

Increased Mental Focus: Did you know that the latest research shows that exercise helps keep the brain sharp well into old age? Anything which involves mental acuity (focus and concentration) is improved. You also stand a much better chance of avoiding such diseases as Alzheimer’s and senility.

Decreased Risk of a Heart Attack: By exercising regularly and making positive changes in your diet, you lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and greatly diminish the chances of having a heart attack. One reason is because the action of your muscles pumping blood back to your heart actually stretches the heart, thereby increasing its efficiency even when you are not working out.

Decreased Risk of Osteoporosis: Regular exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and can even reverse it by building bone tissue. In short, the stress lifting weights puts on your bones causes them to adapt and get stronger, just like your muscles.

Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer: Estradiol and progesterone, two ovarian hormones linked to breast cancer tumor production, are lowered in the body by exercise. A woman’s body is most susceptible to these hormones during the time between ovulation and menstruation. Habitual exercise can actually delay ovulation until later in the menstrual cycle. This reduces the time she must fight these hormones. Fat has long been known to be a catalyst in the production of estrogen (estradiol). Regular exercise burns body fat and decreases the rate of estrogen production.

Increased Strength and Stamina: Your body interprets exercise as stress and adapts to handle that stress with less effort. These adaptations benefit your heart, lungs and central nervous system, while also affecting your muscles. The degree to which adaptations occur is dependent on the type of exercise and the intensity of your workout.

Reduced Depression: The production of Endorphins (feel good hormones) is increased through exercise. Nothing improves mood and suppresses depression better than those endorphins.Decreased Stress Levels: The worries and stresses of everyday living (commuting, work demands, the candy bowl on your secretary’s desk) can stick with you long after the work day is done. Exercise is the perfect natural therapy that can change your mood. You’ll sleep better too.

These are the obvious results we must praise, and find strength in. If we compel ourselves to defeat our demons, change our bad habits, live that lifestyle that we only dream of, and laugh at the face of failure, maybe just maybe, we might get lucky and make a dream come true.